Winter Expansion Name(s)

Some potential names to consider. Apologies to those that may have actually come up with a few of these already. Feel free to take credit in the comments.

Click to embiggen baby!

The Haunted Hulk

He awoke with a start, the Captain's Quarters still eerily lit in that strange half-day half-night mode it seemed perpetually stuck in. His back creaked as it always did after a night on the couch. When would the restrictions be lifted and a decent bedroom be allowed by the Stations? He rubbed his eyes and thought, probably not in his eternal lifetime.

The little girl stood on the dais in front of the screens. He didn't see her at first, her presence being outside the normally empty environment of the rented office. She was plain, small and obviously Minmatarian. Her hands raised imploringly and she vanished.

"Huh" he thought as his hand hit the Commlink. His wife answered, she was always up before him no matter how early he awoke. "How did you sleep?", she asked. He smiled. Even though they couldn't share the same apartment, he silently cursed the Station once again, she could still read his mind. "About usual," he replied, "Although this morning I've seen a ghost." "That's interesting," she said in that way that wives have of saying that make you feel insignificant, "What are your plans for today?"

Before he could make a smart-ass remark that he would be forced to regret for the rest of the day, he was interrupted by several apparitions materializing from the walls. About twelve or so horribly dressed Minmatar citizens shambling across the floor. All with that imploring hand-raised plea that the little girl had perfected earlier. "I've got more of them now, with me here in the office. I may have to call you back." They were getting uncomfortably close. "Don't you dare hang up on me with ghosts in your office." There was still a smile in her voice, but it was edged with concern.

The oldest of the group stopped short and the rest waited, the amount of pleading only worsened in this paused state of affairs. "What are they doing?", his wife asked. But he barely heard her as he watched a Giant Secure Container form in the space before his eyes. It spun there lazily and he could hear crying, scratching and wailing coming from within the cargo container. The container burst into flames before his eyes. The leader, for that was all he could think of him as, looked directly into Rixx's eyes...

"They're gone now." His voice must have sounded far away. "Are you ok? Should I try and come over?" He thought about that for a second, knowing how hard it was to make that happen - it would involve a bit of daring do, some scaffolding, a ladder, a few bribes, and a death-defying swing from one gantry platform to another. "Uh, no need.  I have somewhere I need to be. Can you jump into the Impel and meet me at the Rani gate in five? Bring a few dozen med-kits and see if you can scrounge up a medical team or two?" He clicked off the Commlink before she could reply.

He called for one of his Thrashers, he needed something small and cheap. Going into high security space was no easy task, and while his wife could come and go as she pleased, it was a bit more of an issue for him. The dock manager wanted to know if he needed a crew and he waved him off, he'd handle this one alone, no reason to put anyone else at risk.

At the gate he outlined his plan and his thoughts to his wife. Most of the work would fall into her lap, since he'd be shot on sight by the sort-sighted buffoons of Concord. "I still think you're crazy, it's been five days..."  He smiled as he jumped his Thrasher in and she followed, "When have you ever known me to not..."  He became immaterial for a moment and reassembled on the other side, "... be crazy? Warping to the bookmark, follow when you can."

He arrived to an empty belt. He only had a moment, quick d-scan and he saw it, just as Concord started appearing in the belt next to him, he warped off again.  He saw the Impel land as he entered warp.  She'd know what he was up to.

This time he landed in an inferno, way closer to the sun than he liked. The Thrasher sealed up even though he was safe in his pod, automatic protection for the crew that would normally be onboard. Where was his wife? Already the police were landing, he only had a few moments. And then he saw her and the black ship emerge right on top of the can. He smiled as his board lit up like Holy Day and he was in his pod, without a ship around him.

The little girl was with him and she smiled this time. "I've got thirty or forty survivors, they're in bad shape but the meds say it's most dehydration and hunger... most of them should be ok." His wife's voice always in control. He knew the answer before he asked, "What about children?"  This hiss from space wailed in his ears, the little girl kissed him on the cheek, "The story we're getting is the bastards kept the children in another container... I'm sorry, but that one didn't make it."

The little girl, her name was Ran, smiled again and disappeared - like all good apparitions should. He didn't smile. He'd killed them when he ganked that Hulk last week. No indication the Hulk was smuggling slaves to Amarr, none at all. Goddamn nasty business.

He watched the police still circling his pod. Not a single one of them would stop and help. They punished but they rarely showed the first sign of human caring. Certainly Concord's hospitals would be better than the ones in Hevrice, but no help would come from that side. As usual. These were the self-same bastards that allowed slavery in the first place.

He watched the Impel enter warp and he followed it back to the gate.  "It's a goddamn hard universe Ran, honestly... you're probably better off dead."

First Time Ganker

About three years ago I first heard the term "gank" associated with blowing up transports on hi-sec gates. At the time I also heard this was a great way to make some serious iskies. I remember Angor and I jumping into some ships and flying to the nearest hi-sec gate, I believe I was in a Caracal? It doesn't matter, as you can imagine, that trial effort lasted about 15 seconds. No sooner had we locked the first transport thru the Gate, than we were exploded by CONCORD.

Skip ahead three years and I haven't tried hi-sec ganking since that early embarrassing moment. Oh sure, back in the day I fought can-flippers and station camping war-deccers in hi-sec - but that early taste of CONCORD justice was enough. Until yesterday.

No sooner had I logged in than someone in the Corp channel was asking if anyone was interested in some suicide ganking. Of course I am always up for trying something new and we started forming up. The idea was to fit up a nice small gang of cheap Thrashers, fully insured, and then find some unsuspecting Hulks mining in ( they think ) safe old hi-sec. The Thrasher fit is extremely simple, T1 Arties in the high, 2 SeBos, T1 Scram, 2 Gyro and 3 Bullets!  You'll be lucky to get more than one shot off before the Coppers find you.

Key to the operation is coordination and a scouting alt. ( I'm not stupid about ganking, having been a reader of many great Ninja blogs over the years! ) I should also mention that things had already started off on the wrong foot, my comms dropped just as everyone warped off and ganked a Manticore. So already missed out on one kill.

It wasn't long before our first victim was located. Seven Thrashers warped in on top of the poor sod in the Hulk and opened fire! "Are you sure you want to do this?" Oh man, stoopid warning window!! YES! And I got my one shot off and then BOOM I exploded. Sadly the Hulk did not and I watched from my Pod as he warped off in extremely low structure, but very much alive.

Let's try this again. Eight Thrashers now and after waiting out GCC we find some more victims this time even deeper into hi-sec. A bunch of 'em, Orca, couple Hulks, and assorted other ships blissfully unaware of impending DOOM! Muhahahaha!

Rinse and repeat. Land among the sheep and lock up the primary Hulk... "Are you sure you want to do this?" What?!? Not again, I thought I told you to go away?  Oh man, the Hulk exploded already. Lock up the Osprey, cause the others had warped away and the Orca is just a silly thing. Boom! Osprey dead and someone even one-shotted his pod. At least I got in on one killmail. And then back in my own pod again.

By this time a regular gang was forming up to fight some Militia peeps, so that was it for the Suicide Ganking portion of the evening. It isn't a playstyle that I see myself enjoying very often, but I have to admit that it was a lot of fun and I wouldn't mind being completely retarded every so often.

It isn't as easy as you'd think and takes some coordination and good fortune to pull off perfectly. But the rush is worth the risk, and with loots and insurance, well worth the investment.

Yee. Now I can check yet another thing off the list.

Winter Drain Bamage

I haven't said much yet about the Winter Expansion ( and the new ships/balancing), mostly because a lot of other bloggers are talking about it. But I do have what I think is an interesting take on the subject that has been buggering around in my brain this last week or so.

We're about to get Drain Bamaged and Mind Fubbared!

Not only is the addition of four Battlecruiser class ships with Battleship weapons going to pull the rug out from under your feet, but all the other changes on top of that are seriously going to mess with your head.

There are so many aspects of the game that we take for granted in relation to other aspects of the game, the relative speed relationships between ship class, the relative distance relationships between weapon types, the relative damage outputs between classes... the list is long and complex. And all of that is going to be changing.

And no one, no matter what they tell you, truly understands the ultimate impact this expansion will have on the game of Eve. Even with massive scale backs before release, which are of course possible, the widespread changes that have been leaked so far are nothing less than (gulp) game changing. In my own personal opinion, these changes move Eve forward in an extremely exciting and positive manner. A huge step, maybe three or four big steps, towards perfection.

But while many look at these changes one aspect at a time, the truly mind fubbaring way is to consider them all at once. From Capital nerfs to Destroyer re-balancing, not to mention four major new ships, Eve will be undergoing a widespread shift of focus not seen since... well, hard to say really. Maybe never?

From a Flying in Space enthusiast perspective, this is an expansion whose time has finally come. We've weathered industrial changes, incursion changes, mining Orcas, Sov expansions and any number of other changes, including CQ, without much to show for it.  Since the introduction of T3 Strategic Cruisers there hasn't been much for the FiS crowd to cheer about. Other than the Scorpion and Maller re-skins (which are really nice, now get busy on other ships!). 

But I'm cheering now. And I am busy trying to wrap my poor sodden head around what it is all going to mean. Any major shift, like after Aprocrypha, have always had unintended consequences that we've had to deal with. So what will be the fallout from this major paradigm shift?

Looking thru the crystal ball I see some good and some potentially not so good changes ahead. Certainly the new balancing impacts the Capital world, not only thru the re-balancing but also thru the introduction of such powerful Cap Killers to the Universe. So Null Space should be an interesting place following the December expansion. But we're also seeing a re-thinking of several ship classes and weapons systems that could potential shake things up in ways we might not even realize yet. Many people are already anticipating an increase in Hi-Sec ganking, perhaps even so far as the disruption of transportation networks and the moving of assets. But I also see a dark potential for increased Gate Camping in all sections of Eve. With hi-dps, longer ranged, relatively cheap ships at their disposal, the temptation to park a small fleet of these things off a busy Gate seems almost unavoidable. And that's not good for anyone.

And I haven't even mentioned new mods, the details of which we don't have a clue about yet. Although we can make some educated guesses about.  Data Subverter?  If only CCP thought the way my brain thinks that would be the coolest mod ever!

Whatever the details eventually work themselves out to be, this Winter Expansion is shaping up to be a serious shake up of the WAY THINGS HAVE BEEN. A new dynamic will settle into New Eden, one which will fundamentally change combat and the way it is planned, conceived and implemented, for a long time to come.

I say bring it on baby! It is about time things got fun again.

Stoopid Is Stoopid Does

The casual Eve player, having read many blogs about the game, might come to the conclusion that everyone writing a blog about Eve is a Super-Genius. They always seem to have the answers generally, know the best fits, and tend to get into great and exciting fights.

At least here on Eveoganda you know that I am not afraid to talk about the other side of my own personal experience. Oh sure, I'd prefer to spend my time telling you how awesome I am. And I do that when the situation warrants it. But I am also extremely self-deprecating, I'm the first person to say when I'm being an idiot, or when I do something stoopid.

Like yesterday.

Let me set this up for you. I log in and find that my mates are already off on a roam, probably about 6 or 7 jumps away. I think, "Ok, I can probably make that and join up".  So I undock in my Podla fit Drake ( for those that don't know it is HML/2 Webs/Scram or Disr/2 Nano/ the rest as usual ) and load up comms. The fleet is full so I'll tell someone on comms to open up another squad, but at that moment I hear them engaging something and wait. I hate when we're in a fight and some schmuck comes on with some lame ass question, "What system you guys in?" or "What ships you guys need?" just when the FC was about to give an important instruction. So I wait.  I might be headed for stoopid in a minute, but I'm no schmuck.

Just then a Cane lands on the station, flashy red dood. I don't think much of it at the time, but the dood starts yellow-boxing me. So I do the usual Get Info, yeah, yeah, ok nothing weird or SPDR about him. No one else red or neuty in local. Then he starts shooting me for real.

Two smart things to do at this point. 1) Dock up and get a real Drake, (Podla Drakes are great for small gangs and some solo work, but not for a 1v1 versus an experienced Cane pilot in close proximity to a station ) or 2) Ask for some help, there are probably two Tuskers in station that might have come to assist.  So what did Rixx do?

I did none of those smart things, instead I engaged the Cane in probably the worst Drake fit you can have for the situation I was in. Had I been in either of my other two fitted Drakes, no problem (probably, we'll never know for sure).  As it was it was a decent fight, I got him into half-armor before my pitiful tank finally gave way. It was then that someone said not to engage him because he had snakes and boosts.

If my brain had actually been working that would have been obvious. No one comes up to the Tusker station in Hevrice and engages one of us unless they are pretty damn confident. Either they have backup or they know something you don't. Duh.

Later a few of us managed to keel a Proteus ( thanks to superior work by Aliens! ) so that made things a little better. He tried to log off to save his skin, but we even managed to get his pod. Some people need to pay attention.

In the end, no big deal. All this proves is that no matter who you are, no matter how much you try, every once in awhile Eve is gonna show you how stoopid you can be. Welping yourself into a drag bubble, de-cloaking on some piece of space junk, getting probed down while your in the bathroom, whatever stoopid ass thing it might be - we all do it eventually.

And no matter how many times I tell myself that I will "learn from my mistakes" and swear to never do that again... I probably will. Or something else just as stoopid.  Fortunately for me, those moments continue to be the exception and not the rule.

What will happen the next time I undock?

The Pirate Wives Club

Walking through the station this morning Rixx just happened to notice the following flyer amongst chaos of the Community Bulletin board...

The Pirate Wives Club
Click to Embiggen!

Looks like it might be a long night in the Javix quarters.

Direct Link to the larger version.

Blog Pack Update

Please update your feed links on your blogs.

A couple of additional changes to the Blog Pack today, which will complete the current slate of changes. Hopefully these latest changes will be the last for awhile and the Blog Pack members you see today will constitute the roll for a long time to come.

First of all we welcome The Beginnings of Piracy back to the pack!  Mail Lite's excellent blog was removed simply because he was having Malware issues and those have been resolved now. So it is good to have his blog back in the Pack.

And we also welcome our newest member to the pack, The Altruist  is an excellent blog that gives extremely solid advice on playing Eve for both the new and older members of the community.  Check out his latest post on the upcoming Winter Expansion changes for a great example of this.  He doesn't post all that often, but when he does it is valuable. So it will be a great addition to the Pack.

For those of you wishing to have your own blog become a member the process is simple. Make me aware of your blog! I will add a link to your blog to the Eve Sites list in the right hand sidebar, this means you've been added to my own personal reading list. When a slot becomes available I use that list to decide who to add next.

Remember that ALL BP members should have a link on their blog to ALL other BP members! I've been extremely lax in enforcing that rule, but that will start to change. We're all adults here, so hopefully by the time I get around to you, the list is already up and running on your blog.

Thanks and enjoy the Eve Blog Pack.

Twitter Tuesday: Twits from the Tweetfleet

It's time for another installment of Twitter Tuesday!  That incredible moment when I run out of things to post about and beg my fellow Tweetfleeters for questions I can use to fill space!  Let's see what they have for me today shall we?

We all know a woodchuck can't chuck wood, but If a wood chuck could chuck wood how much wood would a woodchuck chuck?

Is that a European or African Woodchuck?  Seriously though, "Chucking" wood is an ancient Old English term for stacking. And, as most Woodchuck enthusiasts will tell you, the Woodchuck is exceptionally adapted in the fine art of stacking wood. Fuzzy, the current Guinness World Record holder, chucked 2,237 individual metric "cords" of wood in a 72 hour marathon at the 1993 World Chuck Cup in Bingingham, England. Sadly, Fuzzy collapsed shortly afterward and expired. 

What do you think of the rumoured bonuses of the new tier 3 BCs? 

I am extremely excited about the new ships! Battleship DPS on a Battlescruiser hull is a very interesting and potentially >cough< game-changing development. It will probably go a long way towards re-balancing some aspects of the Eve universe and I've always been a fan of adding content to balance, instead of subtracting content to balance. Having said that I don't feel comfortable commenting specifically yet, not until we get more specific details regarding the bonuses each ship will be getting. So far though, I am very excited.

How is anastasia today?

Thanks for asking. Anastasia is doing very well and is currently on a shopping trip in Dodixie. Yesterday she successfully moved our Providence out of Lisbo and transfered it to the market hub.  After this shopping trip she'll be working to collect our remaining assets and either sell or move them back to a more central location. Ana is hard at work studying for the Amarr Carrier V Certification, which will be the last remaining level V Carrier flying skill she needs. She is also holding weekly support group meetings in Dodixie, look up Pirate Wives on the Neo-Comm if you're interested in joining.

Does your alt give away free ISK and help new players like Robin Hood and you kill can flippers for them?

Ana has been known to help less fortunate pilots from time to time thru low-interest loans with generous terms, but nothing in this universe is free. We used to kill can-flippers but we got out of that business with the recent changes in our Sec Status.

When is your next know your lowsec corps post coming?

Soon. I took a break from that given the recent changes to my situation, leaving Burn Away and Lucifer's Hammer and joining Tuskers. There were political considerations that needed to be addressed and I didn't want to add to my troubles by saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. Now that I'm firmly in my new Corporation we will be returning to that feature shortly.

Why do you guys have to be so chipper in the mornings? Cut it out!

I think this is getting confused with "chucking". Chipping is more the area of expertise of the Beaver, which is a whole other animal.

If you were trapped on a deserted planet and could only fit two extra things in your hold, would one of them be my corpse?

Nope. I'd leave your rotten flesh where it belongs, on the dirt of some forgotten planet. Bodies are a commodity for us Capsuleers, your true body is already alive and well somewhere else in the universe and this husk with me is only dead meat.

What will tonights winning lottery (megamillions) numbers be?

Oh I know the answer to this one!!

Where do we go from here?

I think I'll let Earth, Wind & Fire answer this one: "Past emotions, filling my memories, Lovers potion that hypnotize. Could it be time has rearranged, what remains of the fire that lit our lives? Can it still survive. I felt so alone, though I knew you were right beside me. How could it be so? Will we ever be as near? To the world we held so dear? Tell me, where do we go from here? Where are the thoughts that disappear? Where do we go from here?"

Why dont we see the corpse's for all the people who died in a ship, and not just the pod pilot...

You have to remember first and foremost that what you "see" is actually given to you through the neural connection between you and your ship. So much of your perception is censored by the ships computer, sensors, scanners and whatnots. In fact, it is well known that humans exposed to warp tunnels, for just one example, often lose their minds. So there are hundreds if not thousands of corpses floating in space around wrecks, but your ship filters those out to only show you what you need to see. In fact, one of the biggest expenses for the PvP pilot is the cleaning service stations provide, which mostly consists of scrapping splattered corpses from your ship when you dock. It is a disgusting grimy job, but in most areas it pays extremely well.

Buffy, Willow or Faith?

Buffy. I'm such a sucker for those eyes. Although honestly, why do I have to choose? Isn't this my fantasy world here? I want all three.

Following my pic yesterday of the Hurricane/Tengu hanger bug. What would be the bastard child of those two ships?

I think we just saw that baby this morning.

Who wins: Enterprise-E vs a Drake?

I've never been fan of the rate of fire on the Enterprise, it sure seems to take forever between blasts. Of course they can also lob those shiny Photon Torps at you, but they seem slow and I wonder what type of damage they do?  Plus the Drake would get a free run for about five minutes, while the Enterprise crew works its way thru those confusing Starfleet regulations.  Opening advantage goes to the Drake, the Enterprise gets into structure early, but then someone on the Enterprise figures out the Drakes weakness at the last minute and BOOM. So winner Enterprise, although lots of scenes of the carnage onboard and that one genius kid that always gets killed. So sad.

In your opinion, should we be excited for the winter expansion?

After everything that has happened since Incarna was released, I believe we have no other choice but to be extremely excited regarding the Winter Expansion. It is the stake in the ground, the planting of the flag, the course changing expression of all that has been promised. Should it fail it would be catastrophic for us, for Eve and for CCP. So let's hope that it will be all that it needs to be. Not over hyped, because that always leads to disappointment, but a great start on a new road.

Why do alliances argue about silly things?

First of all your thinking is backwards, these 'things' are not silly at all. They may seem that way to you, but believe me, these things are extremely serious, important and worthy of arguing about. In point of fact, there is little in the whole universe more worthy of debate, fighting and arguing than these things you speak of. All of Null Space hinges on these things, and without these things, things would never happen. Things wouldn't be getting done and things would settle into a thingless existence. Things. We need 'em.

RJ's Journal: Entering Providence

Entry B-217
Rixx Javix
Capsuleer - Phoenix Industrial 

"Only two weeks since undocking from Todaki and already I'm breaking my pledge to go it alone. Angor was insistent however and you already know how he can get. I admit to a certain loneliness and the prospect of further rock banging doesn't sit well with me. We shall see how this goes, but so far the Corp seems friendly enough."

"My meager supplies and what ships I have already transported into Null Space. I looked out from my office in the Choonka station and wondered if the Merlin was sturdy enough for the trip ahead.  She is a fine ship of course, Frigate class and much better for the journey than the Cormorant.  Especially since I can't properly get that damn ship fitted anyway.  Cul says he'll be scouting me all the way down the "pipe" to PI-5, but still, the thought of leaving Empire for the first time..."

"I still get the shivers. Despite the training, the "modifications" and the endless conditioning, the first touch of the Hydrostatic fluid starts my lizard brain running in the wrong direction. Something horribly inhuman about being jammed into a cybernetic cortex, breathing fluid and seeing thru scanners. At least I haven't been podded yet. I checked on my Clone this morning, creepy goddamn thing..."

"I'm embarrassed by the size of my Merlin next to Cul's Rapier. Someday I'll fly the majestic ships, the tantalizing glimpses I've 'seen' thru the scanner and optical relays of city sized Battleships have left me wanting that more than anything. And I know there are bigger beasts where I am headed. The Academy was full of whispers about Titans and Capital Class ships of every description. The Holo-Vids don't do space justice, you have to BE in it to appreciate it. I squirm in my pod, that itch is back on the bottom of my feet. Driving me crazy. The Doc says it is subconscious planet-side ghosting, nerve tricks. Newbie problems."

"Already the Sansha lurk in the dark and we're only one jump into our 17 jump journey.  My Mother told us scary bedtime stories about the Sansha, morality plays to teach us good from evil. If only she were alive to see me dive straight into their home. But no, my attention is riveted on nothing, and yet everything. My 12 AU bubble of consciousness extends and waits for the all clear. There is much to fear here outside the arms of CONCORD.  I have no love for the Empire's police, but they do maintain control. And without control? Chaos. Which is where I am warping to now."

"The threats are numerous. Bubbles, cloaks, gate camps, reds, blues, Alliances, friends and foes and... who knows really. I've been told by everyone in the Corp that there is real isk to be made in Providence. Isk and adventure.  Which is all I want. To make my mark and... avoid complication.  We'll see how well that goes."

"Couple of close calls. But finally arrived safely in PI-5. The station is nothing at all like an Empire station, dirty, dingy and full of undesirable types. Some rough characters here, along with the Holy sheet covered ones. I could do without them, Amarrians give me the creeps."

"Spent the day ratting and hiding from the "reds" that often jump into system. I don't enjoy killing the Sansha, they seem, despite my youth, ill prepared even for my Frigate. I'd much rather be hunting those "reds" and those that live deeper into the unknown.  Already Angor, myself and a few others have started talking about combat. Soon I'll be ready for my first Battlecruiser, probably the dreaded Drake. Then, maybe then, I'll teach these "reds" a thing or two."

On Going Solo: A Year Later

About a year ago I wrote a post called "Going Solo" in which I responded to comments on another post called "Newbie Mistakes", in which I had argued that Newbs/Noobs shouldn't be flying solo.  Follow all that?

Don't worry, while it is an interesting post for a pilot that had spent the majority of his time in zero space up to the writing of it, it simply manages to be the springboard for today's post.

Towards the end of last year things started to unravel in Eve for me and the idea of restarting my own personal efforts towards being a better PvP pilot were born. This was a personal journey that I had been on since day one, when at two weeks old I flew into Providence to live.  And while being a part of fleets, gate camps, wars, POS bashes and long-distance roams was fun - it is more of a group effort. Before that time last year the majority of my kills were in gangs/fleets of 5 or more pilots.

Since then however, the majority of my kills have been in gangs of less than five pilots. Small gang PvP continues to be my favorite and probably always will. While flying solo is awesome, nothing beats a few pilots working together.

But back to that personal journey thing. One result of all this history is that I suck at flying solo. I'm good at large gangs and small gangs, but when it comes to solo, I suck. The other day Swearte came down to fight me in his Taranis, I was flying my Malediction. He was blaster fit and I was Rocket fit, given my speed advantage I should have won. But I bumped my prop mod during the initial dance and it de-activated, allowing him to close range on me. Stupid mistake and I paid the price. It was an excellent fight and he deserved to win, no sour grapes here. Just sayin'. That kind of thing happens to me all the time.

Not that I'm horrible or anything. Since November I've been in (not counting pods) 138 solo fights, of which I have won 108. So I've been winning 78% of the solo fights I get into, which isn't that bad. Of those 108 kills there are about a dozen that are really good fights, so my odds on the good fights hasn't been as stellar as I would like. More like 40/60 would be my guess.

I want to get better. For personal satisfaction alone really, I need to continue to get better.

For some reason I get sloppy when it comes down to one versus one and I don't know why. I'm not sloppy when I'm flying in a small gang, or FC'ing a group of pilots, or doing anything else in Eve. There is a mental block inside my head that only I can overcome.

And the only way to do that is to get back on the horse, as often as possible. Work thru it and get past it.  And maybe I won't, maybe, just maybe I'm not meant to be a great solo pilot. That is certainly possible. But I will continue to try until that becomes apparent. So far, I don't believe that to be the case. 

Onward and upward.


It has been about a month since the last Blog Pack Update and that is way longer than it should have been. My apologies.  So today I've cleaned up several inactive blogs, added a few new ones, updated the link for another and also created some spiffy NEW badges that you can use on your BP Blogs!

There were two sites in the Pack that had not updated in over 2 months, without any word on their sites about when they might be back. I'm sorry but that is grounds for removal.  Should the blog authors in question return they can ask to be reinstated to the Pack. But the idea of the Pack is to present active, engaged community Blogs.

Marc Scaurus changed his blog from Wanderlust to Malefactor, so it has been updated on the list and the feed.

Welcome Nashh Kadavr back to the Blog Pack! When I took over the pack from CK Nashh had been inactive for awhile, but he has been back at it full steam for almost two months now and is welcomed back into the Pack.

And we also welcome Helicity Boson back to the land of the living! Helicity is a long time member of the Pack and I'm glad to see her back to blogging again.

That is it for new Blogs for today, there are several other ones that may be included in the next update two weeks from now, so keep your eyes open for those. I decided not to add them today because I am honestly not sure which of them will be added yet, so I'm going to keep an eye on them for the next two weeks to see if a few rise to the top.

As always, clicking on the graphic under the banner will take you to the Blog Pack page with links to all the sites and a link to the Blog Pack Feed.

It is amazing how quickly things change. I went thru so many blogs the past week that are gone, inactive or otherwise dark. But there are also tons of new ones rapidly taking their place. As always, I am only one dood, so if you want your blog to be considered please feel free to send me a link, leave one in the comments, or otherwise make sure I know about you! Enthusiasm counts in the Eve Community.

Keep the courage.


Rixx is trapped in a station for the next few days while his User travels. Rixx is not happy about this turn of events, but his User needs a few days to recover from a rather brutal, stressful week.

When I return there will be Blog Pack updates, new art and lots of exploding ships to talk about.  Until then, stay frosty.

You Don't Know Me

@RockCalledSteve (or Moose) twitted this morning looking for a blogger that happened to be on. GIven recent events he felt compelled to record a bit of a rant regarding the CSM/CCP debate and the changes that Eve has undergone.  Here is the message in his own words:

"Greetings Bloggers of #Tweetfleet.

I come to you as a third party, essentially on my knees, asking you to consider sharing something of mine to the community.

I have found a lot of the current grief the CSM is getting is from people in EVE - mainly in Empire - who have not been around long enough to understand what EVE once was, compared to what it is now.

With this in mind, I have created a 22 minute long explanation of what's happened and why, with a bit of history thrown in, for people to listen to.

I am not using this as an advertisement for a podcast of any kind - this is a one off recording that, bar maybe a single new recording answering criticism, won't have a sequel to it. Or rather, that is the plan.

I would like you to have a listen to it. If you're willing to post this to your blog, I would be very much in your debt. Feel free to post any negative or positive comments you have for it as well.

I will leave it up to you."

- Moose

You can listen to the recording by using this link.

NOTE: There are some potentially NSFW moments of profanity, mild by most definitions, but perhaps not by all. Worth mentioning.

I just finished listening to it myself, I felt I should hear the whole thing before I post it obviously. And while it is a bit of a ramble, the general thrust is simple enough. Eve was a different game when it first started out, and while my own experience only goes back three years, others were here from the beginning. This does provide a unique perspective, having been there from the beginning, and a worthy one.

I think we can all agree that CCP has dropped the ball in many, many instances. Promised iteration of various game mechanics that never developed further, abandoned areas of opportunity, have become more and more commonplace. This has sadly become more and more true as time has gone on. The recent "Straw that broke the camel's back" moment this Summer was simply the culmination of years of this slow, rotten decay.

And Eve began to smell. And while Moose and I may differ slightly on some of the details and levels at which we may give praise and/or blame, one thing unites us - and that is the power of the Eve Community.  A power I tend to place more squarely in the hands of the masses and which he seems more likely to place in the hands of the CSM. Ultimate responsibility matters little in the face of success however, the important thing is that CCP has changed direction and re-focused efforts on FiS and other areas.  Before it was too late. Hopefully.

I encourage you to listen. This is one voice that has been here since the beginning. And while it is only one voice, so am I, and so are you. But together we can have meaning and power.

Twitter Hat Wallpaper

Rixx Javix's Twitter Hat Collection Vol 1 Wallpaper

The first volume collection of Twitter Hats is now available as a spiffy Wallpaper for your computer desktop! I can think of no better way to celebrate the power of the Eve Community than sporting the Eve Community in your face every day!!

Either click on the image or the link to find various sizes to download on Flickr.

I think this piece has already started to become particularly significant since several of those pictured are no longer with us. I'm sure as time marches on that will become even more apparent. In a way, the Twitter Hats have become a semi-memorial, or a moment in time at least, to the diversity, strength and friendly power of our odd little group.

I started doing Twitter avatar hats on June 9th and over 150 hats have already been provided, some multiple times! (by trick, or by choice!) For those of you that remain un-hatted, do not despair, the plan is to continue putting hats on avatars for as long as you want them.  And the wallpaper will only continue to grow with each new addition. Volume II should sport nearly 300 hats I think.

When I look at the collection I see a story in every single hat and I know there is a person behind each one. For those hats that no longer have a person behind them, there is sadness, but also joy at the time we did share. And if the silly hats have one purpose, it is in sharing something together. Even if only for a moment.

I consider you all my friends.  Hats off to each of you.

Dark Days

My heart goes out to all those affected by the recent news from CCP. My sincere and heartfelt wish is for each of you to find your destiny, your path, your life, free from worry and fulfilled to the utmost.

Sadly I share your dark day as I had to lay-off some of my own friends and employees today as well. It doesn't get any easier with time, looking into their eyes and delivering the bad news. I learned long ago that there is no easy way, no softer way, to couch the words that have to be said.  I only hope they can find what they need and in a timely manner.

Difficult times. Nothing good can be said. One only hopes that good can come of it somehow.

Keep the courage.

I hate being right sometimes

Over a month ago I wrote a series about the CSM and CCP, mostly focused on why the actions of both over the Summer were ultimately bad for EVE itself.  The series gained a lot of exposure, traffic and generated other blog posts blah blah yadda yadda. The point being, specifically when it came to CCP, I was correct.

Today's news that CCP is reducing or moving 20% of its staff and "that we are attempting too many things for a company our size." is confirmation of my basic premise - that CCP was overextended and this is bad for EVE.

At the time several sources within CCP as much as admitted that I had hit the nail on the head. Or at least had come closer than I might had thought, since I had NO inside information to base my conclusions on.  The subsequent letter from CEO Hilmar started the ball rolling ( I would suggest that letter was an excellent "monkey" btw, well done. ) and recent changes have put CCP back on track once more.

Sadly, for me, I hate being right in this case. Mostly that has to do with the potential layoffs that will result. So for everyone that is impacted by today's news, my sincere and heartfelt condolences. I hope for you and your family's sake that you find employment again quickly.

The other side of me is glad that CCP listened and is making the necessary changes to address their issues now, rather than later. This is a good sign. And as hard as it is on those affected, it means good things for the future.

I'm not suggesting that my series had anything to do with the change in direction at CCP, so don't put words in my mouth. I do know that series was read by at least 45,000 people, give or take a dozen or so. So someone read it. And maybe it had some small part to play.

Either way. Onward and upward.

Spinning Heads

Sure looks like the Tornado might be coming to life someday soon. New Minnie BS, T3 Battleship or whatever, new ships are always exciting news around the Eve community. It has been awhile since we've had a new PvP ship to get excited about, so this is welcome news.  Personally I hope the Tornado is simply a new addition to the Minnie fleet and not a new ship category yet. I think each race could use a new BS to compliment the armada (especially the poor Caldari) before we move on to some new ship category.

But the details remain to be seen, so we'll wait on that news.

In other news ship spinning has returned.

Honestly, and I know I've said this before, I really didn't miss it. But I'm glad it's back. That door was getting annoying, so much so that I generally refused to look at it and kept undocking to find good fights!

And now we get news that the Planetary Customs Offices are going to be player controlled and owned.  And while I don't participate in PI this seems like a huge shift in structure control within the universe of New Eden. Certainly this raises the bar somewhat on player versus player conflict, but just how much remains to be seen. I suppose there might be areas within New Eden where more PI happens than I am aware of, and perhaps those places might be hotter than others?

All in all I am in support of anything that puts more of the game in control of the players. Generally speaking that is always a good start. The rest can be dealt with down the road, with balancing, market controls, etc.  So we'll have to wait and see what real impact this huge change has in actual game play.

For me it potentially removes an easy warp to destination, if no one puts up a CO around a planet, since right now they virtually all have one. But other than that, I can't see it impacting my game play significantly.

More importantly it feels like CCP has finally started to gain the upper hand again on the news front, and that is good news for everyone. Whatever you think about "ship spinning" personally, they listened to the players and brought it back. And now, with more changes, news, upgrades, ships and balancing in our future, it really feels like Eve is getting back its mojo once more.

If this is the start of the promise of changes at CCP, of the words in Hilmar's letter to the players, then it is a good start.  And an exciting time once more in New Eden.

A Hunting We Will Go

My Father started taking me hunting with him when I was five years old. Cray old coot. I have four boys myself now and I can't imagine taking any of them into the woods with me when they were five. But he did.

We weren't crazy obsessed hunters. We were casual, have-fun, serious, respect nature hunters who often went with our cousins and Uncles - who were crazy obsessed hunters.

It was miserable. Cold. Wet. Tiring. And incredible. My Father and I spent some great times together in those trips, hours and hours and hours of saying nothing, sitting in wet grass, peeing on trees, eating ham and potato soup, and watching my cousins drink beer. And then go back out into the woods with weapons.  An attitude, with them and in the general population, that would eventually destroy the fun for us. We were shot at a few times by drunken hunters and once, I was actually shot by a hunter. (I wasn't seriously injured, it was rabbit shot and went thru a pretty thick thicket and I happened to be seriously bundled against the cold.)

I think of those days when I think of low sec and the Pirate life I've chosen. Because they share many of the same aspects. Eve is a hard universe and within that universe there is no harder life than that of a pirate. ( Don't even try to argue that point. Total respect to those that live in Wormholes, which is close, but the isk tips the scale.) I'm not complaining, in fact I suspect most pirates revel in it. Much as we did at 3 am in the morning when it was below zero and my snoot froze in my nose.

There are much easier ways to make a living and certainly many easier ways to participate in PvP within Eve. But the hardship isn't the story. The sec status, lack of isk making, general contempt of the lifestyle, the tears, the ransoms, the skull-duggery, those are not the story. Just like in those hunting days, the killing of an animal ( which you will be happy to know, my Father and I sucked at that part.) isn't the story. The true story is the time spent together, the bonding, the camaraderie, and most importantly the HUNT.

The hunt. The hunt is what is missing from the gate campers, the station campers, the snipers, the bubble waiters, and all the other forms of lazy combat that Eve seems to promote. Oh sure, there are times when we all have to do it, or when we have no other choice. I relate it to one crazy Uncle of mine, who never went with us on our trips because he would drive into the woods and shine a very bright light into a Deer's face. He had one of those large lights on the side of his truck, you've seen them. That is lazy hunting. And it ain't hunting at all.

My favorite times in Eve have been on the hunt. Alone or with my friends. Ultimately it is the search for those moments that drives me to log in, to put up with the hardships of Pirating, the problems with logistics, the sec status, the lack of isk making, the whining about low sec, it is the possibility of the hunt. Superior skill against a worthy opponent. Beating a human being on the other side of the virtual divide. It isn't about conquering a computer, or an AI string of code, but about the most dangerous prey in the world, another person.

The hunt is what brings me back to Eve. It isn't easy. It may even be dying out, but it is still out there, waiting, haunting, mocking, and despite the challenges, the blobs, the camps and the lag, I'll keep looking for it.

Cause I am the hunter.

Blogfather's Desktop

CrazyKinux, or SocialDave as he is known today, sent me this picture of this desktop today. I asked him if he minded me sharing it with all of you and he said no problem. He's awesome like that.

Click to embiggen!
You can find all of my Eve Wallpapers on Flickr. Enjoy! And send me pictures, I enjoying seeing other people enjoying my work.

You Spin Me Right Round Baby

And ship spinning returns on Tuesday.

All I know, is that to me, you look like your lots of fun.
Open up your lovin' arms, watch out here I come.

I am both incredibly glad that ship spinning is returning and incredibly BLAH about ship spinning returning. Goodness knows I am no fan of staring at that damn door all the time, which is why I typically avoid it and undock!  Which is also, part and parcel, why ship spinning tends to not excite me.  Because I am usually UNDOCKED.

This won't change. Now I know there are those that were hurt by CCP's removal of your favorite pastime, the afore mentioned ship spinning, ( and they were kinda poo poo heads for doing it in the first place ) but Eve is a game that takes place in space. Or is it? Gosh, at this point I admit to being more than a little confused about all that. So let's table that discussion for a later date.

Confusion though, that is kind of rampant. It makes it more difficult to write posts about things when they change so rapidly under your feet. And now I feel a little dizzy. Plus I've given myself a horrible '80's song that is running around and around in my head now.

Ship spinning is back. I'm happy about that despite my upper caps above. A lot of my time is spent in station too, just like the rest of you. I do like to undock, but even I can't avoid the down time and the bio breaks. Weeee, look at me manipulate this 3d model in real time!  Truly, it is endlessly fascinating.

Now I'm off to open iTunes and rescue my brain. Maybe some Mumford & Sons, oh no Dropkick Murphys!

EDIT: My apologies. For those of you unaware of the pure genius referenced in the above post, "genius" here being used in a way diametrically opposed to "good", please watch this video.  Expect the song to b stuck in your head for the rest of your natural life, only seldom pushed down into the background noise of your subconscious. But never, ever truly gone.